Wednesday, 19 May 2021
Media release

Getting a better deal for Australia from visa investments

The Morris​​​on Government is reforming the Business Innovation and Investment Program (BIIP) to create more Australian jobs, promote the growth of key sectors and support Australia's economic bounce back from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs Alex Hawke said that the changes would improve the quality of investments and maximise the economic benefits for Australia.

“Over $15.9 billion has been invested into the Australian economy since 2012 and the changes taking effect from 1 July will see this figure continue to increase," Minister Hawke said.

“Australia is an attractive destination for investors and these changes will directly benefit emerging enterprises, the commercialisation of Australian ideas, and research and development," he said.

“Increased investment thresholds and the adjustment of investment ratios to focus more on venture capital and private growth equity will better support innovation and emerging enterprises in Australia," Minister Hawke said.

Key changes that come into effect from 1 July 2021:

  • The investment amount for the Investor stream will increase from $1.5 million to $2.5 million. The investment amount for the Significant Investor stream will remain at $5 million.

  • The Complying Investment Framework (CIF) will be applied to both investment streams—Investor and Significant Investor.

  • The venture capital and private equity component of the CIF will be increased from 10 to 20 per cent, with a further 30 per cent dedicated to emerging companies.

  • The balancing investment component will be reduced from 60 to 50 per cent.

  • Funds will be required to provide annual independent audit reports showing their compliance with the CIF.

  • The use of Fund of Funds, debentures and derivatives will be clarified in the CIF.

In summary, from 1 July 2021 the following CIF ratios will apply to both the Investor and the Significant Investor streams:

  • 20 per cent venture capital and Private Growth Equity funds (VCPE)

  • 30 per cent funds investing in emerging companies

  • 50 per cent in balancing investments

These changes align with broader reforms to the BIIP and subsequent review of the CIF announced by the Government on 17 December 2020​.

Following the BIIP review in 2020, a second round of consultations were held focusing on how to best invest the funds the BIIP brings to the Australian economy.  Key stakeholders, including the state and territory governments, Commonwealth agencies, fund managers and migration agents, provided submissions and took part in roundtable discussions. Their feedback informed the changes that will be introduced alongside the wider BIIP reforms from 1 July 2021.

Strong compliance measures are in place to maintain the integrity of Australia's borders and economic migration program.  All visa applicants are required to meet Australia's security, identity and character requirements, as well as visa stream specific requirements.

More information is available on the Department of Home Affairs website.​​